For family and friend gatherings during nice weather (and sometimes not so nice) we do some grilling and I always do at least two mains. I'm very fond of lamb chops, steaks, kebabs and Italian sausage, so at least one is always on the menu. But then there is always someone who doesn't like lamb or sausage or whatever and I feel I must accommodate. My solution is chicken! Inexpensive and versatile, I can please almost everyone. Some like dark meat, some white and then there are the kids who just LOVE "chicken on the bone". We start it under bricks on the grill and then transfer to the oven to make room for more grilling and everyone's happy! —inpatskitchen
2 whole chickens and when cut up, makes 16 servings
In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, paprika and thyme. Zest the lemons and then juice them, adding both zest and juice to the bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and then set aside to let the flavors marry while you prep the chickens.
I find that cutting each chicken in half makes for easier grilling, so halve the chicken and cut out the back bone.
Place the chicken halves in a large container with a lid and pour the marinade over, turning and rubbing the chicken a little so that every inch of chicken is covered. Place the container in the fridge for 3 hours giving it a little shake or turn occasionally.
After marinating, heat your grill to medium. Place the chicken halves, reserving any marinade, skin side down, on the grill and weigh them down with about 4 foil covered bricks or a couple of heavy cast iron pans. Grill for about 10 minutes until the skin gets nicely browned. Using heavy duty gloves, remove the bricks or pans, turn the chickens over, re-weight them and grill another ten minutes.
Place the chicken halves, skin side up, in a large roasting pan or pans. Pour any reserved marinade over and roast for 40 to 50 minutes at 350F.
Cut each chicken half into 4 pieces - a drum, a thigh and the breast into 2 pieces, leaving the wing on one piece. Place on a large platter, scattered with the chopped parsley and the lemon wedges artfully placed around.
NOTE: This is wonderful either warm or at room temperature!
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!